The Big Chill. 1983.

The Today show was running a series of anniversary/get-togethers on old movies, including Airplane, Footloose, and the 25th anniversary of The Big Chill.  So after seeing that, I wanted to see the movie again because it had been years and years and I really didn’t remember it all that well.  The movie is good, but there are a lot of drugs and some other things that go on that I don’t care for that much.  Maybe I’ve changed as I’ve grown older, as I don’t recall feeling that way when I watched it way back when.  The movie is still worth a watch,  as the thought of a close friend (from college) dying unexpectedly is sobering as we get older.  But most of the movie deals with that at a fairly superficial level while spending more time on less pressing issues.

Music Builds Tour

Kelly and I went to the Music Builds tour at Walnut Creek Amphitheater with our friends Jonathan and Amanda, and we met Nikki and Paul there.  We got to see both Switchfoot and Third Day!  Unfortunately, we missed Red, Robert Randolph, and Jars of Clay, though at the end of the show, Red came out and sang with Third Day, Robert Randolph played with Third Day, Jars of Clay sang I’ll Fly Away with Third Day, and then Switchfoot came out and everyone played When Love Comes to Town, which was pretty awesome. What we saw of Robert Randolph was pretty impressive so I plan on finding some music of his on myspace or imeem or some such and giving it a listen.

We were 5th row dead center, as you can see from the photos.  Both bands put on an amazing show.  This is the 2nd time we have seen Switchfoot in the past year, and they are really worth watching live.  And I think it is the 4th or 5th time we’ve seen Third Day now.

I’m in Friends of the Foot, so after Switchfoot played, Kelly and thought we’d get to see them at the Meet and Greet, but it took longer than we expected, and when Third Day started playing, we left the line and went back to the show.  Maybe next time we see Switchfoot in concert and they are the only headliner, we will get to meet them.

We did get to go to the meet and greet for Third Day, as Nikki went to school with Mac and Mark.  We even stayed after the meet and greet and hung out with those two for 20 – 30 minutes chatting.  They are both so down to earth and friendly, and we appreciated them hanging out after such a long day.

One thing that was funny is that Kelly was worried about wearing her Switcfoot shirt while we were talking to Third Day.  Mac said he saw her while they were playing and noticed the shirt!  I believe him because I could see him making eye contact with lots of different people in the audience.

Monday Music 7-28-08

Jon Foreman — Summer EP

This is actually the 4th EP in Jon Foreman’s solo series.  I have become a huge Switchfoot fan over the past couple of years — they are the #1 band in my artist play count now, by a large margin!

This EP is the best of the 4 in the series in my opinion, and I’ve been listening to it a lot the past month or so.  It certainly is the most religious of the four.  Riley and Reece really like “Instead of a Show” and “House of God Forever,” both of which are taken almost straight from the Bible.  “House of God Forever” is Psalm 23.  If I could play guitar and sing, I’d love to sing that one in front of the Church one day!

Check out his myspace page to listen to the tunes.

On that page Foreman has a blog post with the following quote in it:

Lately music has been my compass: it’s neither the map, nor the road but a steady constant that can help me make sense of the both.

Most of the time, the songs that I write are more honest than I am. Sometimes I don’t play certain songs for people because I’m not ready for that sort of honesty.

I don’t write many happy songs, at least not lately. Which is odd because I’m a fairly upbeat guy. So I’ve got a few theories as to why this might be the case

It might be because life wears down on you. And you lose that part of yourself.

Or it could be because the songs are the only place where these types of ideas can find a release- like a dream where your subconscious is trying to tell you something.

Or perhaps I don’t write songs when I’m happy. You know, a celebration requires a few friends and depression requires solitude.

Either way songs have become my way of finding beauty in the midst of chaos and the pain. It’s a way of finding redemption for mistakes and regrets that I have.

I find that incredibly interesting to me personally, as even though I am very content and happy with life, my musical taste does tend to lean towards darker and more melancholy music.  Some examples of this are Avett Brothers (though they have some very uplifting songs too, many have a twinge of sadness/longing in them); Pearl Jam; Leonard Cohen; Counting Crows; Dar Williams; Bob Dylan; etc.  I do find some very uplifting songs from Switchfoot, though, like This is Your Life, The Beautiful Moment, Dare You to Move, etc.

Music Monday 8/21/08

I’ve been thinking of starting a “Monday Music” post, and had a few albums/songs/ep’s all ready to go, when something happened this weekend that definitely needs a post, and fits in good as the 1st in this new series.

There is a small local band called the McKenzie Brothers that we have seen at Kelly’s parents favorite hang out, May Street Market.   Rick had given me their “friends and family” CD a while back, and Riley and Reece had enjoyed “Banana Pudding.”  And one time when we had seen them, they sang a new song called “The Haw River Stomp” which was great for us, because we live near that very river, and now Riley and Reece know to lift their feet and say “haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwwww” every time we drive over it.

You can hear a couple of their songs here:

Well we went to a little party at the Rondello’s, and there was Robbie Mckenzie.  I made the mistake of telling Riley that he was the man who sang “Banana Pudding.”  Once I did that, it was over!  All she wanted was for him to sing it.  Over and over and over.  And over.  And over again.  And again.  (I think you get the idea!)

Robbie had her read pretty quickly when he said she was “high maintenance all the way!”  And he was a really good sport about it and sang that and other songs for her, and took the time to throw her into the lake several times.  He is a fun guy to be around!

Here is a picture of them together:

Later, Dominque and Robbie sang “Banana Pudding” for us:

And finally…  Right now, “Ob-la-di Ob-la-da” happens to be Riley’s favorite song.  So she asked Robbie “are you the man who sings ob-la-di ob-la-da?”   And he treated Riley and Reece to that as well:

Turns out they have two albums on itunes here, and one album on Amazon here.  If you like what you hear on Pure Volume, check them out on itunes or amazon!

Artists iLike…

Well, well, well… I noticed the Avett Brothers have passed U2 on my most played artists, from my iLike page. That is pretty amazing considering my friend A. only introduced me to them in August of last year, and that I only have 2 albums and one EP. They still have a ways to go to catch Switchfoot. (This is about 4 years worth of play count stats…)

I’m looking forward to their new EP due out in July. Here is a “sneak peak” of a song from that EP that you can listen to here. (Sorry, can’t embed it. :-/)

And here is a video from youtube of “die die die”:

And finally, this is their bio from their web page:

“It costs nothing to be honest, loyal and true.”

If you put your ear to the street, you can hear the rumble of the world in motion; people going to and from work, to school, to the grocery store. You may even hear the whisper of their living rooms, their conversation, their complaints, and if you’re lucky, their laughter. If you’re almost anywhere in America , you’ll hear something different, something special, something you recognize but haven’t heard in a long time. It is the sound of a real celebration.

It is not New Year’s, and it is not a political convention. It is neither a prime time game-show, nor a music video countdown, bloated with fame and sponsorship. What you are hearing is the love for a music. It is the unbridled outcry of support for a song that sings to the heart, that dances with the soul. The jubilation is in the theaters, the bars, the music clubs, the festivals. The love is for a band.

The songs are honest: just chords with real voices singing real melodies. But, the heart and the energy with which they are sung, is really why people are talking, and why so many sing along.

They are a reality in a world of entertainment built with smoke and mirrors, and when they play, the common man can break the mirrors and blow the smoke away, so that all that’s left behind is the unwavering beauty of the songs. That’s the commotion, that’s the celebration, and wherever The Avett Brothers are tonight, that’s what you’ll find.

Highly recommended!

The sun, whose rays are all ablaze

I watched the movie “Brick” the other night, a film of the film-noir genre. I liked the movie, but there was one part where the lead female reads part of a poem while playing the piano. It stuck with me, so I searched around and found it is actually a snippet from an old opera called The Mikado.

Here is the whole poem/aria:
The sun, whose rays are all ablaze

Yum-yum’s aria from The Mikado

The sun, whose rays are all ablaze with ever-living glory,
does not deny his majesty–he scorns to tell a story!
He don’t exclaim, “I blush for shame, so kindly be indulgent”;
but fierce and bold, in fiery gold, he glories all effulgent.

I mean to rule the earth, as he the sky–
We really know our worth, the sun and I!

Observe his flame, that placid dame, the moon’s celestial highness;
There’s not a trace upon her face of diffidence or shyness:
She borrows light, that, through the night, mankind may all acclaim her!
And, truth to tell, she lights up well; So I, for one, don’t blame her.

Ah, pray make no mistake, we are not shy;
We’re very wide awake, the moon and I!

I may just have to buy the music from iTunes here.

Casting Crowns – While you Were Sleeping

Casting Crowns is a great band. I love their two albums. I had listened to their second album, LifeSong, many times. Or maybe I should say I “heard” it many times. And then one day while driving home late at night, I really listened to this song. It really hits me for some reason.

Here’s an iTunes Music Store (iTMS) link.


“While You Were Sleeping”

Oh little town of Bethlehem
Looks like another silent night
Above your deep and dreamless sleep
A giant star lights up the sky
And while you’re lying in the dark
There shines an everlasting light
For the King has left His throne
And is sleeping in a manger tonight

Oh Bethlehem, what you have missed while you were sleeping
For God became a man
And stepped into your world today
Oh Bethlehem, you will go down in history
As a city with no room for its King
While you were sleeping
While you were sleeping

Oh little town of Jerusalem
Looks like another silent night
The Father gave His only Son
The Way, the Truth, the Life had came
But there was no room for Him in the world He came to save

Jerusalem, what you have missed while you were sleeping
The Savior of the world is dying on your cross today
Jerusalem, you will go down in history
As a city with no room for its King
While you were sleeping
While you were sleeping

United States of America
Looks like another silent night
As we’re sung to sleep by philosophies
That save the trees and kill the children
And while we’re lying in the dark
There’s a shout heard ‘cross the eastern sky
For the Bridegroom has returned
And has carried His bride away in the night

America, what will we miss while we are sleeping
Will Jesus come again
And leave us slumbering where we lay
America, will we go down in history
As a nation with no room for its King
Will we be sleeping
Will we be sleeping

Angel lyrics (Pearl Jam)

[Ok, this goes with the last one. Eddie Vedder wrote the following lyrics after reading the previous poem… More to come in my next entry.]

Pearl Jam – Angel Lyrics

Like an angel fly over your house
Like an angel pass out wishes
Like an angel I will move the arrow
Like an angel I live alone
I’m not livin’ what was promised
I am close but can’t enjoy

Oh I’m not dyin’
Oh I’m so tortured ’cause I see all
Tortured and all I cannot do
Tortured all I should have done
Tortured while I occupied a man

I’m not livin’ what was promised
I am far from glorified

Oh I’m not dyin’
Oh I’m not alone

Mind is not a celestial state with idle hymns of praise
Time is short I have an appointment at noon at noon in Hell
Across the waste of space and fields of air I glide alone at night
Oh please please think of me ’cause I’m I’m by your side
I’m by your side I’m by your side oh
I’m I’m right in front of you I’m by your side